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Frank Boyden

Biography to Display: 

1942 Born Portland, Oregon


1965 BA Art Colorado College

1968 BFA and MFA Painting Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


1968—Studio artist


Frank Boyden was a painter before he began working with clay in 1968; then finally giving up painting in 1972 to give his full time to clay. His skills as a draftsman led him to explore ways to incorporate drawing on the surfaces of his pieces. From 1968 to 1981 he worked mostly with locally sourced glaze material and clays that are then thrown and low fired. Since 1993 he has worked only with porcelain on which he continued to perfect his drawing skills. The subject matter of the surface treatments on his work reflects his interests in his immediate environment.

Boyden is also known for his long-standing collaboration with fellow ceramicist Tom Coleman. Coleman threw vessels, including bowls and vases, and Boyden drewcarved into and manipulated the surfaces, often depicting animals such as fish and birds; theses pots were mostly wood fired. 

In 1984 Boyden, Tom Coleman and Nils Lou built the sixth Anagama kiln in America. He spent the next 30 years perfecting the discipline of wood firing at high temperatures. 

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred University, Alfred, New York

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California

Arabia, Helsinki, Finland

Ariana Museum, Geneva, Switzerland

Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho

Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room, Connecticut College Library, New London, Connecticut

Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Davidson Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

Grimmerhus Ceramic Museum, Fyn, Denmark

Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon

Harlow Collection, Bemidji University, Bemidji, MN

Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, Oregon

Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, Oregon

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

J. Paul Getty Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California

Kinsey Institute, University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana

Knight Library, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Illinois

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California

Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Millersville University Art Galleries, Millersville, Pennsylvania

Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon

Museum of Decorative Arts, Riga, Latvia

Museo de Arte Costarricense, San Jose, Costa Rica

Newport Public Library, Newport, Oregon

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

New York Public Library, New York, New York

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah

Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondhiem, Norway

Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Flagstaff, Arizona

Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon

Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Portland, Oregon

Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

Pushkin Museum, Moskva, Russia

Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin

Reed College Rare Books Collection, Portland, Oregon

Skaelskor International, Ceramic Center, Denmark

Smith College Library, Northampton, Massachusetts

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

Stanford University Library, Palo Alto, California

Stedelijke Musea, Museum of Fine Arts, Oostende, Belgium

Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington

Taideteollisuusmuseo (National Museum of Applied Art), Helsinki, Finland

Tongass Historical Museum, Ketchikan, Alaska

Topeka Public Library, Topeka, Kansas

University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Willamette University, Salem, Oregon

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut


Bibliography to Display: 

Allen, Lois. “Natural Acts,” Artweek (April 1993).

Armstrong, David W. On the River through the Valley of Fire, The Collaborative Ceramics of Frank Boyden and Tom Coleman, Pomona, CA: American Museum of Ceramic Art, 2008.

AMOCA. Coexistence with Fire: Wood-fired Ceramics by Frank Boyden, 1985-2007. Pomona, CA: American Museum of Ceramic Art, 2008.

Beach, Polly. “Passion and Knowledge through Clay,” Clay Times 9, no. 9 (2003).

__________. “Razor Wire Rim,” Studio Potter 28 (1997).

__________. “The Skin of the Pot,” Studio Potter 24 (1995).

__________  and Mike Riley. “Garden Environment,” American Craft (February/March 1993).

__________. “Building the East Creek Anagama,” Studio Potter (Summer 1985).

__________. “Common Ground,” Studio Potter 14, no. 1 (1985).

Campbell, Brett. “Center of Gravity,” Portland Monthly (November 2006).

Cantor, Allyn. “Frank Boyden: The Empathies,” Preview, Gallery Guide (November / December / January 2006).

Curtin, Barbara. “A Showcase for Oregon Art,” Statesman Journal, Salem, OR (July 11, 2010).

Davies, Terry. “Oregon Postscript 2007,” Ceramics Art and Perception no.68, 2007.

___________. “Drawing on Totemic Powers,” Craft Arts International no.14 (1988).

Fisher, Mary Pat. The Art of Seeing, second edition, New York, NY: Prentice Hall Publishers, 1990.

Francis, Kevin. “Frank Boyden ‘25 Years in Clay’,” Willamette Week (February 28, 1995).

Griffin, Jean. “Boyden and Soldner Build Heat Exchangers for Pottery Northwest,” Crafts Report (November 1982).

Harris, James. “The Kiln and Foundry Facility at Western Oregon State College,” Ceramics Technical no.2 (1996).

Harrington, Lamar. Ceramics in the Pacific Northwest: A History, Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1979.

Hopper, Robin. The Ceramic Spectrum. Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Co., 1984.

Johnson, Barry. “Fires of the Anagama,” The Oregonian (June 1986).

Johnstone, Sandra. “Frank Boyden Workshop,” Ceramics Monthly (February 1991).

Lamberton, Daniel. “On the River through the Valley of Fire,” Ceramics Monthly 57, no. 3 (March 2009).

_______________. On the River through the Valley of Fire: The Collaborative Ceramics of Frank Boyden and Tom Coleman. Pomona, CA: American Museum of Ceramic Art, 2008.

Lane, Peter. Ceramic Form.  New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications, 1988.

Luckhurst-Lute, Elizabeth. Frank Boyden Workshop,” Ceramics Monthly (January 1995).

Mansfield, Janet. “American Ceramics,” Craft Arts (January 1985).

Minogue, Coll, ed. Impressed and Incised Ceramics, London, England: A&C Black, 1996.

Neugarten, Rachel.  “Inspiring Repulsion,” The Oregonian (November 24, 2006).

O’Neill, Yvette. Frank Boyden,” Ceramica 6 no. 22 (1985).

Parks, Dennis. A Potter’s Guide to Raw Glazing and Oil Firing. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers, 1980.

Priester, Mary. “The Interactivators: Sculpture for TriMet WES Commuter Rail,” Portland, OR: Portland Art Museum, 2009.

Reich, Jeff. “Wood Spirits at Galleria Mesa,” Ceramics Art and Perception no. 6 (1991).

Sarson, Katrina. “Everybody’s Art: An Oregon Art Beat Special,” OPB Member Guide (May 2008).

Steinzor, Ben. Basic Ceramics. New York, NY: Prentice Hall Publishers, 1986.

Troy, Jack. Wood-Fired Stoneware and Porcelain.  Radnor, PA: Chilton Books, 1994.

Wiggers, Namita. Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Portland, OR: Museum of Contemporary Craft, 2008.

Wright, Nancy Means. “American Craft,” Studio Potter (August 1984).


CV or Resume: Click Here to Download


Typical Marks
ca. 1975-1980
ca. 2004
Fish Vase
Date: ca. 1975 to 1980
Form: Vase
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze, Incised
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection
Date: 2004
Form: Vase
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown and Altered, Carved
Surface Technique: Incised, Woodfire
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection
Vase with Elephant
Form: Vase
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Loren Maron
Photo: Loren Maron
Photo: Loren Maron

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified February 14, 2024.